Andal Ampatuan Sr., Imelda Marcos running for office

Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Sr., the father and namesake of the prime suspect in the Maguindanao massacre, is running for vice-governor of Maguindanao, reports Inquirer.net.

Not willing to exit the political scene, the Ampatuans submitted the certificate of candidacy (COC) on December 1, and filed the papers for governorship. Andal Ampatuan Sr. filed for vice-governor instead of governor, the latter being a position which Andal Jr. had eyed before the November 23 massacre occurred.

Although running as an independent candidate, the news report says that Andal Sr. has shown his support for Bagong Bayan gubernatorial bet Mayor Ombra Sinsuat of Datu Odin Sinsuat. The elder Ampatuan and several family members were earlier expelled from the Lakas-Kampi party in relation to the Maguindanao massacre, which killedat least 57 people.

Meanwhile, former First Lady Imelda Marcos filed her certificate of candidacy Tuesday, reports the Associated Press. "Strongman Ferdinand Marcos's flamboyant 80-year-old widow, who has successfully fought off more than 900 civil and criminal cases against her, dispatched a lawyer shortly before midnight Tuesday to file her nomination papers in Illocos Norte, her husband's northern stronghold where she is popular," said the AP report. "The Marcos family still wields influence, despite accusations of embezzlement, human rights abuses and Imelda Marcos' ostentatious lifestyle when most of the country wallowed in poverty during the husband's 20-year rule."

The AP report also mentioned outgoing President Gloria Arroyo's bid for a Lower House seat, despite the fact that "opinion polls have consistently found her to be the least popular president since Marcos." The story adds, "Arroyo, 62, has denied allegations of vote fraud and corruption, and has survived four impeachment bids and four attempted power grabs by disenchanted troops who accused her of mismanaging the country."

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